1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Your best hatching advice pleae!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenteacher2, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. chickenteacher2

    chickenteacher2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    1
    108
    Apr 24, 2012
    Desert, S. CA
    Hi,
    I hatch eggs for my students. I have a HOvabator, styrafoam, with air. I've hatched a total of 3 times in the last 2 years. I've had terrible hatch rates. The first time, I followed the directions the incubator gave. The 2nd and 3rd times I've tried the dry -er hatch method. I live in the dry, dry S. CA desert, though. My hatch rates have been like 2/12, 4/12, 4/20. [​IMG] I know I could've had fertility issues on the first 2, since they weren't my own eggs. The last batch was shipped eggs. This time, I'm doing 12 shipped and gathering possibly some of my own and some local chicken farmer's. Please let me know what I can do to improve. I just bought a new hygrometer. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. chickenteacher2

    chickenteacher2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    1
    108
    Apr 24, 2012
    Desert, S. CA
    By the way, I'm aiming to set the eggs around mid-February.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    35,982
    7,436
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Run the incubator for a few hours beforehand and double check humidity and temperature in different spots in the incubator, especially if it's a still air model. For a still air, temp should be 101-102*F, for a forced air 99.5*F. Humidity I personally aim for 45-50% and 60-65% after day 18.
    If possible, set fresh, clean, evenly shaped, undamaged eggs. If the eggs are dirty, wipe them carefully with a damp cloth.
    Turn the eggs as many times a day as possible, or at the very least no less than 3 times a day.
    Make sure your hands are clean when you handle the eggs.
    Monitor the humidity and temperature during the incubation. Cool down periods are fine for the eggs, but watch out for heat spikes, those can wreak havoc.

    Read this article for more tips and advice:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101

    Good luck!
     
  4. chickenteacher2

    chickenteacher2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    1
    108
    Apr 24, 2012
    Desert, S. CA
    Thank you! I tried the dry hatch, but I live in a VERY dry area, so maybe that wasn't for the best. I'm hoping with a new hygrometer, I can get more out of my hatch. I'm eggcited, since my NN eggs look fertile. I will start collecting them on Wednesday and clean the incubator out and get it running at least a few days prior, to get a good temp read.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenteacher2

    chickenteacher2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    1
    108
    Apr 24, 2012
    Desert, S. CA
    Ok, so my local eggs are waiting to get some incubator time. The incubator is clean and will go tomorrow to the classroom to be set. Now, I just gotta wait for my mailed eggs. [​IMG]






    Meantime, I have an announcement.....I am a first-time ever broody mama chicken farmer:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,648
    5,403
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Might be too late for you to try this....but.....

    Tips on checking accuracy of thermometers and hygrometers:

    The thing you want to do is check that any of thermometers and hygrometers are correct by testing them against a known criteria.
    Comparing devices is useless unless you know how accurate any of them are.

    I used a candy thermometer tested in boiling water and noted how far off 212 degrees it was...or whatever temp water boils at your altitude.
    You can check your boiling temp at altitude here.
    Then put the candy thermometer and 3 others in the incubator during the test run and compared them all, noting any differences.

    I made a chart noting all temps and made notes about if this one reads this temp it is actually that temp.

    Hygrometers can be tested by putting 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup water in a dish or jar and mixing it to a slurry.
    Put the salt slurry jar and the hygrometer next to each other in a sealed plastic bag.
    After 8-12 hours the hygrometer should read 75%...again note and differences and you're set.
     
  7. chickenteacher2

    chickenteacher2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    258
    1
    108
    Apr 24, 2012
    Desert, S. CA
    Thanks, everybody. My best hatch (although still not stellar) - 7 out of 16 made it. I had to help 2 (I know this to be a chicken farmer no-no, but I couldn't help it)....... My students were thrilled. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by